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31190 No. 31190
[x] Fairies! Damn it!

You curse as you take her hand. "It's fairies. Has to be."

Sanae laughs, clearly less disturbed by that fact than you are. "What makes you think that?"

Ah. You never did tell her about them, did you? "A trio of them gave me some pretty bad grief yesterday. This seems like something they'd do."

"Hmm." She looks around yet again. "Well, I don't see any."

Dusting yourself off, you look again. Yeah, you don't see any either. But you do think you hear a faint giggle from the brush.

"Did you hear that?" You ask.

"Hear what?"

"... never mind."

It'll be no good if you crack on only your second day. As long as you watch your footing, you doubt there's much a fairy could do to you next to the river like this anyway. It would be pretty impressive if they managed to fell a whole tree on you.

Steeling yourself, you go back to work on a new cairn. You're making pretty good pace, actually, though you doubt you can keep this up all day.

*rustle*

Just then, you hear a sound in the brush.

[ ] <ignore it>
[ ] <quickly toss a rock>
==============================================================
Might get one in tomorrow, actually... but we'll see.
74posts omitted. Last 50 shown.
>> No. 31267
[x] It would be cooler if it was automatic.

You can't help yourself. Maybe

"I gotta be honest," you shrug, seeing an opening in her ego, "it would be cooler of it was automatic. Like, if you just walked up and it opened for you. Maybe some kind of facial recognition to keep it from opening for just you?"

"..."

Sanae giggles. "Or maybe make it voice activated? But I still think it's pretty cool for a secret base. I'm kind of jealous."

"A-anyway," Nitori says, shaking off "The door is just a door, it's not that important. And it's not a secret base, it's a lab. The most advanced one in Gensokyo, in fact. Come on."

Hastily, the kappa heads inside the door and down the huge stairwell behind it. The stairs are a bit more what you'd expect from a stereotypical secret lab - textured sheets of metal. Although, only the floor is metal, the rest of the cave is natural stone.

A dozen steps or so down the stairs, Nitori pushes something on the wall. With a rather powerful sliding noise, the door closes behind you. You hope you don't have to leave in a hurry.

The stairs... go on for a while. You stop counting over a hundred steps.

"Just how did you carve all this?" you wonder aloud, "This would be some serious work to do by hand."

Nitori, who had been silent until now, seems eager to boast about it. "Hmm. Well, actually - steam power! Steam powered tools, that is. The auto-pickaxe, and the super-smoother, and..."

She rattles off a few things that sound like weirdly named power tools. And it sounds like it was something that she's been working on for at least one human lifetime.

"But wait, steam?"

"Steam. It's a really convenient way to power things, you know! Running electricity all over the place is just a pain, and batteries are way too big for the power they hold. You just have to be careful not to run the pressure too high..."

You continue to descend. You suppose there's not much in the way of fossil fuels being produced in Gensokyo. "But wait, how do you power those cameras you were talking about earlier? Steam?"

As you pop your question, you finally set foot on level ground. The stairs end at the foot of another door - a heavy and metal one. Nitori stops and turns around, mostly ignoring your question.

"Now, a few safety rules," she says, "Don't touch anything without asking. And... well, I guess there's only one."

After getting affirmative nods from both you and Sanae, she turns around again. This door just slides open after turning the handle.

On the other side is a massive cavern. Like the cave leading down, the floor (and some distance up from the floor) are metal, while the rest is natural stone. Although the ceiling is decorated with ductwork and other various metal bits.

Along the walls, and in various piles, are... ridiculous amounts of clutter.

"So," Nitori says, walking up to Sanae, "Can I see your, uh, 'cell phone' again?"

Sanae, taken back by the sight of all the junk lying around, seems to not be keen on the idea. "Wait, what do you plan to do with it?"

"Well," Nitori says, "Mine doesn't work, and yours does. So I wanna take it apart and see why!"

Sanae looks mortified. "What? No! I've had this phone forever!"

Nitori pulls back. "It's the only way, unless you can just tell me how it works. And besides, I can just put it back together... I think."

[ ] Wander off while these two deal with it. But don't touch anything.
[ ] Back up Sanae. You can't just destroy someone's phone.
[ ] Back up Nitori. There's no cell towers in Gensokyo, anyway...
>> No. 31268
[x] Back up Sanae. You can't just destroy someone's phone.

Not a good idea to hand over your tech to the kappa. I'd imagine you'd be of no more use to them once they have what you have. Besides, Gensokyo having working phones seems... wrong.
>> No. 31269
[X] It would be cooler if it was automatic.

Complacency is the enemy!
>> No. 31270
[X] Back up Sanae. You can't just destroy someone's phone.
>> No. 31271
[x] Wander off while these two deal with it. But don't touch anything.
>> No. 31272
[x] Wander off while these two deal with it. But don't touch anything. make sure to touch everything
>> No. 31273
[X] Back up Sanae. You can't just destroy someone's phone.

Also, why not try to explain how it works?
>> No. 31274
[x] Back up Sanae. You can't just destroy someone's phone.

Sanae seems to have taken her phone out of her outfit habitually, as if this might be the last time she sees it. When you see Nitori eyeing it, you decide to say something before she does something.

"Whoa, hey," you say, coming to Sanae's defence. "You can't just destroy someone's phone."

Nitori quickly turns to you, puzzled. "I just want to take the... shell off and look inside. I'm not going to destroy it. Probably. The shell does come off, yeah? It's just a few screws, right?"

"These things are like a third limb, or maybe a second head, to us outsiders," you say, nodding sagely. "You can't just treat it so casually."

That just confuses her even more. "... hmm. Why?"

You shrug, patting your pocket. Oh. Yours is still in your hotel room. Oh, man... you push the thought of that whole mess out of your mind. Don't need to think about that now. "... I'm not sure. But that's how it is."

"Weird," Nitori says, scratching her head. She looks at the obviously dead phone in her hand, then to the one in Sanae's hand. "You're not going to tease me like this, though, right? That's why I brought you down here in the first place."

"If you're careful," Sanae says, quietly, "I guess it's ok."

You turn to Sanae. "You sure?"

"I think it's--- whoa!"

Having permission, the kappa practically bum rushes Sanae and grabs her phone from her hands and rushes off into the lab. "I promise I'll be extra careful! Really!"

"W-wait a second!"

Sanae takes off after Nitori. For whatever reason, it doesn't really occur to either of them to fly, so they just rush off among the mounds of junk leaving you alone at the entrance.

[ ] Rush off after them.
[ ] Take your time.
=======================================================
Sleep schedule seems to have shifted due to my carelessness, so I apologize for the lunchtime updates. Going to force myself up earlier tomorrow.
>> No. 31275
[x] Take your time.

Explore the place while you're at it.
>> No. 31276
[x] Take your time.

Time to find cool stuff
>> No. 31277
[x] Take your time.

Time to get into trouble!
>> No. 31278
[x] Take your time.
>> No. 31279
...guess not. I'm busy this afternoon,evening, and tomorrow morning, so I guess I'll be back tomorrow around lunch time.
>> No. 31280
[x] Take your time.

You'll just... mosey over there, you think, rather than rush after them. Wherever 'there' is. You think you get the general direction, at least.

As you wander, you can't help but take notice of just what all the mounds are composed of. It really is all junk. Lots of old electronics with broken screens, cracked cases, bent antennas... all the way back to things you can't even place. Old, massive computers.

But not all of it is in piles, you find. At least some of it is finding new life on workbenches strewn over the lab as well. She's definitely a tinkerer. You can't even guess at what most of this stuff does.

... however, eventually, you start to hear the high pitched whine of a chorus of CRT monitors. As you turn the corner of another junk pile, you see why.

This computer is on. And you guess this must be the camera system that Nitori had mentioned earlier. There's 4 monitors. Two of them you recognize as mountain scenery. One of them is pointed at the river - though you see no cairns, so it must not be the part you were on earlier.

The fourth looks like it's just low lighting, so you can't really tell what's going on.

There's a whole bunch of buttons in a row below the monitors, and resting on a table below that is a keyboard. Oddly, there's no chair nearby or anything.

[ ] Continue wandering.
[ ] Watch the cameras for a while.
[ ] Start poking the buttons, try to see what the keyboard is for.
==================================
Doesn't need said at this point, but yeah, back Monday.
>> No. 31281
[x] Start poking the buttons, try to see what the keyboard is for.
>> No. 31282
[X] Watch the cameras for a while.
>> No. 31283
[x] Watch the cameras for a while.

Let's try not to blow up the lab.
>> No. 31284
[x] Watch the cameras for a while.
>> No. 31285
[x] Start poking the buttons, try to see what the keyboard is for.

What's the worst that could happen?
>> No. 31286
Back tomorrow instead.
>> No. 31287
Oof. Guess it's Thursday, then - got caught in things today.
>> No. 31288
[x] Watch the cameras for a while.

Although there doesn't appear to be anything immediately interesting, you decide to watch the screens for a while. These are live, right? They certainly appear to be.

You do confirm that after a few minutes when you see a bird land on a bush in one of the ones up on the mountain. You see a few objects zip by on the one with the open sky, too, though those are going too fast to make out as anything more than a blue, white, and red blur.

Just as you're about to give up on anything interesting appearing, the fourth camera lights up. It's... whoa.

Is that the Tengu's throne room? You recall your visit there yesterday, and although it's a different angle than before, this is clearly it.

The king enters. And after a while, many tengu enter. They all look pretty well armed. More like that Momiji character than the Aya one you met. There's no audio, unfortunately, so you can't really tell what's going on.

"What's that?"

Sanae's sudden question from behind you causes you to jump a bit. And she laughs.

"Oh, sorry. Did I scare you?"

"A bit," You say, "I was just watching these. I think these are the cameras we were talking about earlier. Where's Nitori?"

"She's taking apart my phone still," Sanae says, "Actually, she really was going to be careful with it. I shouldn't have been so worried."

"Ah, that's good."

"Is that the throne room?"

"That's what I thought, too."

With two of you confirming it, it's gotta be true. But you still can't tell what they're doing. It looks like it's a bit of a royal audience, although you can't imagine a king entertaining that many soldiers at once on a regular basis.

You really wish there were some kind of audio.

[ ] Bodes well.
[ ] Seems like an ill omen.
=============================================
My Wednesday thing got pushed to yesterday beyond the time I was able to write. Sorry about that.
>> No. 31289
[x] Bodes well.
A murder of crows is always a good sign.
>> No. 31290
[x] Seems like an ill omen.
>> No. 31291
[x] Bodes well.

Crows are good civilization.
>> No. 31292
[x] Seems like an ill omen.
>> No. 31293
[x] Bodes well.
>> No. 31294
[x] Bodes well.
>> No. 31295
[x] Bodes well.

Still, this bodes well. This doesn't look like they're being fired up for war or anything, but more like the king is just announcing something to them. Hopefully, that your shrine is all good to go.

There is someone missing, though. "I wonder where Kanako is?"

"She's around," Sanae says, nodding, "She's just watching, though, so she's not manifested."

"You can tell all that from here?"

"Yep." Sanae says, simply. "It's hard to explain, though."

"Hello?! Where did you two go?!"

The kappa's voice echoes out from somewhere in the lab. In a cavern like this, the sound seems to come from everywhere at once. You're glad you won't have to figure out exactly where it's coming from, because you'd be absolutely lost if you did.

"Do you think she's done already?"

"Maybe," Sanae says, gazing off towards the "She was surprisingly quick at getting that cover off. I guess we should head back."

[ ] You'll keep watching these for now.
[ ] Follow her.
=========================================
Sorry about that delay, had some stuff going on. There's stuff this week too, but we'll see how it goes.
>> No. 31296
[x] Follow her.

Don't be rude! We're guests!
>> No. 31297
[x] Follow her.

We came here to negotiate with the kappa, anyway.
>> No. 31298
[x] Follow her.
>> No. 31299
[X] Follow her.
>> No. 31300
[x] Follow her.

You take another glance at the monitors. Well, you suppose this isn't why you came down here in the first place. Interesting, but a distraction, you suppose. You follow behind Sanae, out into the lab and around the giant heaps of stuff.

It's not the most direct route, but eventually, you do make it back to where Nitori is waiting. She looks a bit agitated.

"Geez, where'd you go?"

"I think I got a little lost," Sanae laughs, "This place is really big."

"It is, isn't it?" Nitori says, proudly, "I'm gonna make it bigger eventually."

"So, did you figure it out? Can I have it back?"

"Huh?"

"The phone," you say, unable to help yourself.

"Ah, right, right! Well, I couldn't figure out this one bit..."

She holds up the battery. "So how do I get it open?"

"I don't think you do," you shrug, "That's the battery. It doesn't open."

Nitori looks at it in disbelief. "This is a battery? You don't need it, right? I'll just---"

"You must have some of those around, right?" Sanae says, sounding a little desperate. "I don't think you need mine."

"Hmm, hmm... well, I think you're right," Nitori says, "But I did see how the rest of it worked"

You look over her shoulder and to the workbench she'd been at with the phone. The battery compartment is open, but the phone itself doesn't look harmed. Just like that, she places the battery into the phone and hands it back to Sanae.

"Thanks! You've been a great help," she says, immediately wandering off into the maze of junk. As she does, she says absent-mindedly, "You know the way out, right? I've gotta go find one of these batteries, so..."

Sanae seems a bit alarmed. "What about our talk?"

Nitori stops. "What talk? Turns out it was simple enough that we didn't need to talk about it at all! But maybe sometime we can talk about those 'cell towers'."

"No, about the trail we want to use..."

Nitori laughs. "Oh, that again? I wasn't kidding, I can't really do anything."

[ ] Push the issue. It's not fair to get nothing.
[ ] Surely, she can at least try?
>> No. 31301
[x] Surely, she can at least try?

Come on, be a pal.
>> No. 31302
[x] Push the issue. It's not fair to get nothing.
>> No. 31303
[x] Surely, she can at least try?
>> No. 31304
[x] Surely, she can at least try
>> No. 31305
[x] Surely, she can at least try?

Sanae stares at Nitori as the kappa turns to walk away. Yeah, you think you know that look by now. You decide to offer a compromise, rather than what looks like it'll naturally follow.

"You really can't do anything?" You wonder, "It seems like you could at least try."

Nitori stops again, and turns around. "Look, I'm brilliant, but kappa are nothing like machines. They're way too complicated."

Sanae, though, picks up on where you're going. "But you had those two from yesterday following you, right?"

"A-haha, yeah... well, not really. They were just tagging along for some mischief."

"Could you at least keep yourself out of mischief if a human is on the trail?" Sanae wonders, "We can deal with the other kappa if we need to. I think they might listen to you, though."

Nitori thinks about it for a bit. "Hmm. Well, as long as we're friends, I guess I could do that. But it might not work. I can't guarantee anything."

This is working... surprisingly well. You can't help but wonder if she's just trying to get you out of here, but she seems sincere.

"I think that's better than guaranteeing nothing," Sanae says, turning to you, "Right?"

"Definitely."

"Let's shake on it," Nitori says, "That's what outsiders do - shake, right?"

Sanae laughs. "Where'd you get that idea? Well... it's not exactly wrong."

You just extend your hand, expecting Nitori to come near. But instead, she reaches for something on her belt... and suddenly, a hand-like thing extends out to grab your hand. You don't know what to say, but Nitori grins.

"I just wanted to test the pressure. Pretty cool, right?"

With a laugh, Sanae moves in close to avoid the extendo-arm... thing. Nitori looks a bit off-put by the personal space invasion, and although you hadn't noticed it until now Sanae's about a head taller. But they do shake on it.

"Guess that's official, then. Well, see ya!"

Nitori starts to wander off into the lab.

[ ] "... could you show us the way out?"
[ ] <find the way yourselves>
=================================
I will be back Monday. Busy tomorrow and the day after.

I think my schedule will be changing as well. Next week will be generally goofy (I... think that I'll be around for Wednesday, but not Tuesday), but after that, I think the plan will be to not update Sunday and Monday and update all the other days. Going to shuffle my work schedule a bit.

...not that I regularly meet the plan, of course. But I think it's good to have one rather than not.
>> No. 31306
[x] <find the way yourselves>

Take some "detours" along the way.
>> No. 31307
[x] <find the way yourselves>

Scatterbrained team unite! ...somewhere.
>> No. 31308
[x] <find the way yourselves>
>> No. 31309
[x] <find the way yourselves>
>> No. 31310
I think I will just take it easy this week. Sorry, but I think it's a good idea... pretty out of whack right now. Will resume Tuesday.
>> No. 31311
... Wednesday, I guess. Tangled up in some other things today.
>> No. 31312
[x] <find the way yourselves>

"Bye!"

Sanae bids her farewell, but you just watch. What a strange person.

The two of you make to leave. It takes a bit of wandering, but after a while you find your way to the door you came in through. ... or at least, that's what you think. You find yourself blinded by the outside light when you press the "open" button on the interior keypad, but the roaring sound from outside is enough to tell you that it's different.

"A waterfall?" Sanae asks, loud enough to be heard.

"Guess this is a different entrance!" you call back, stepping outside. Yeah. After a few moments, that's clearly where you are. You remember seeing this one from the air yesterday. It's the big falls, near the foot of the cliffs leading up to the tengu territory.

As you look around, though, your eyes meet that of a tengu. You freeze. This is definitely Momiji. Right now, she looks about as surprised as you probably do.

"Wow, it's really beautiful," Sanae says, paying absolute attention to the falls, "Way bigger than it looked from above!"

[ ] Greet Momiji.
[ ] Quietly get Sanae's attention.
==========================================
I'll be making a real effort to get this back on track. Might have to step out Friday anyway, but we'll see.
>> No. 31313
[x] Greet Momiji.

Don't be rude now.
>> No. 31314
[x] Greet Momiji.
>> No. 31315
[x] Greet Momiji.
>> No. 31316
[x] Greet Momiji.
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